In 1887, John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles described Woolwich like this:
Woolwich, parl. bor., town, and par., Kent, on river Thames, 8 miles E. of London by rail - par., 1126 ac., pop. 36,665; bor. (including also the township of Eltham and the par. of Plumstead), 8296 ac., pop. 74,963; 3 Banks, 4 newspapers. The chief feature of Woolwich is the arsenal, one of the most extensive and complete establishments of the kind in the world. It is 4 miles in circumference, and is divided into the carriage, gun factory, laboratory, saddlery, and ordnance departments. The arsenal was transferred from Moorfields to Woolwich in 1716. ...
The dockyard dates from the reign of Henry VIII., but it never attained to first rank among English naval yards. Almost the only buildings of interest are the military establishments, such as the military academy, the Rotunda or military museum, the barracks of the artillery and of the marine and royal engineers, the soldiers' home, the ordnance hospital, and the Herbert hospital on the W. slope of Shooter's Hill. Military exercises and reviews are held on Woolwich Common; and at the practice range, on the marshes to the E., all cannon and new inventions in artillery are proved. There is a ferry from Woolwich pier to North Woolwich. Woolwich returns 1 member to Parliament; it was made a parliamentary borough in 1885, prior to which it was mostly included in the old parliamentary limits of Greenwich.
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Woolwich has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Greenwich. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Woolwich and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Woolwich, in Greenwich and Kent | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 12th March 2014
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